Library: Oral History: Memory, Truth, and Validity

From University of Nebraska Medical Center
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Oral history interviews offer a space for narrators to document their individual truths, memories, recollections, and perspectives. Multiple individuals may have different recollections and emotions around the same event. These differences do not invalidate each other but point to the profoundness of memory and human experience. Oral history interviews, therefore, do not serve as an overarching “official truth.”

As society’s understanding and knowledge changes over time, and as not every detail of an oral history can be footnoted, edited, validated, or verified, it is up to researchers to assess any statements contained in the oral history recordings and transcripts. To assist in these efforts, transcripts have been edited according to the McGoogan Health Sciences Library Oral History Style Guide, with footnotes added to better provide context where relevant.